Understanding Social Housing Electrical Testing

The requirement for homes to be safe is very prevalent in today’s world. No more so than those that offer homes to housing associations. As a landlord or a local council it is important to make sure that tenants are kept safe and free from accidents. At IPF Electrical we are accredited electrical specialists. In our latest article we look at how understanding social housing electrical testing can benefit you.

What Is Electrical Testing And Why Is It Important?

Electrical testing is the process of ensuring that the electrical equipment and installations within a property are working as they should be. The tests most commonly carried out are a fixed wire test, EICR and also PAT. These help to ensure the occupants of homes are kept safe and the correct preventative measures are taken. 

What Are The Legal Regulations?

There has been a range of new rules which cover the renting of homes to housing association tenants. This is due to the need to ensure that tenants are kept safe within their home environment. The law that was passed this year is the Electrical Safety Standards In The Rental Sector (2020). Failure to comply and produce the necessary documents could result in a fine of up to £30,000.

How Often Should They Be Inspected?

Due to changes in regulations which came into effect on July 1st 2020 the standard time for electrics to be tested is now every 5 years. This must be completed by a qualified individual. It is also a legal requirement that if you are offering social housing that you are able to provide a copy of the tests if asked to do so. As well as being able to provide it to local authority if they ask. Within this document will be the results from your test and also the date of your next test which you will need to provide to the next person who inspects electrics in your property.

What Tests Are Carried Out?

With a number of new regulation changes those offering social housing are having to ensure that they have all of the necessary documents in place. These changes have been brought in by the government to ensure that occupants of various housing situations are kept safe and limit any accidents from occuring. The two main tests that need to be carried out are as follows:-

PAT Testing 

Portable Appliance Testing or as it better known PAT testing is the testing of portable appliances. Portable appliances include things such as fridges, washing machines, TV’s, kettles and space heaters. When offering out homes to housing association occupants it is paramount to ensure that the safety of any furnishings offered at a high. PAT Testing will allow this to happen.

The varying products that are apparent in people’s homes need to be tested dependent on their risk of breaking as well as usage. High usages items or highly portable items such as a toaster are more likely to be broken than a washing machine. Therefore outside of the 5 year ruling, these may need to be tested with the change over of occupants.


An EICR or Electrical Installation Condition Report is a comprehensive inspection of the electrical installations within the property. It is the duty of the landlord to ensure that the electrical infrastructure within the home is at the standards it should be. As well as being safe for tenants to live in. 

The EICR test should be carried out by a registered electrician. The check will look at the wiring of the property and ensure that it is fit for purpose. With a change in law this year, the government has said that a valid EICR needs to be carried out once every 5 years. And as of April 2021 this will apply to all tenancies regardless of start date.

Who Can Conduct The Test?

When it comes to conducting the above tests, this needs to be carried out by a registered and competent individual. At IPF Electrical we pride ourselves on having achieved accreditations with some of the industries leading providers. This shows our commitment to always being able to provide the best industry standards. Alongside this our team are highly experienced and competent.

To Conclude

Understanding social housing electrical testing will ensure that if you are offering this sort of accommodation that you are compliant. With the introduction of new regulations and rules, it is important for landlords to have all of this in place. At IPF Electrical we are accredited industry experts in electrical testing. For more information on our services and what we offer then please Contact Us.